Canada beckons for Dungiven family

Canada-bound Andrew Evans (let) discussing his upcoming stock sales with Stephen Hamilton, from United Feeds
Canada-bound Andrew Evans (let) discussing his upcoming stock sales with Stephen Hamilton, from United Feeds

Heading off to develop new farming opportunities in Canada is the confirmed future for the Evans family, who currently milk 200 dairy cows on the outskirts of Dungiven.

“I want to farm in a way that puts no restriction on me, in terms of developing a business,” said Andrew Evans.

“And Canada seems to be that type of place. I travelled out there with my two eldest sons last November. We were all very impressed with what we saw.”

Andrew farms with his wife Sandra and children Daniel, Adam, Rhoda, Ruth and Jordan. Given this backdrop the decision has been taken to put the entire farming business on the market: lands, family home, livestock and machinery.

The sale of all assets will be handled by H A McIlrath & Sons, owners of Kilrea Mart. The Evans’ farm extends to 222 acres, which is in six lots. The sale of livestock will take place over two events: the first to be held on Tuesday, March 27th with a follow-up on Tuesday April 3rd.

“The first sale will feature all the milking stock on the farm,” said Andrew.

“There are 140 cows going through the milking parlour at the moment. The second sale will include the 50 dry cows and heifers currently on the farm.”

Both events will provide purchasers with a unique opportunity to invest in a selection of the best dairy bloodlines available in the UK at the moment.

Andrew Evans again:“The herd is producing just short of 8,500L at 4.28% butterfat and 3.39% protein.

“I have used AI sires exclusively on the herd over many years, with the aim of improving cow longevity and milk quality.

“Over recent years, Legend and Levi straws were used quite widely within the herd. Their daughters were then crossed to Super Shot. Over the past 12 months, I have used a lot of Massey, from Ai Services, on the cows.”

He continued:“The pregnancy status of each cow will be declared on the day. Cows will be available for inspection in Kilrea Mart prior to the start of the sale, which gets-underway at 11.30am. On-farm inspection of the stock will be permitted. But this will be granted on a personal request basis only.”

The sale of all machinery will be held at the Evans’ farm on the morning of Saturday, April 7th. Included in the list of available items are 3x four-wheel drive tractors; 2x two-wheel drive tractors; a silage wagon, mower and rake – all Pottinger; a 28-feet livestock trailer; a 2,500 gallon slurry tanker; an 18t dump trailer plus a 6t digger and low loader. All equipment has been maintained to the highest standard.

“The milking plant and all the equipment in the dairy will also be for sale,” Andrew confirmed.

“An 18 point DeLaval swing-over system was installed 10 years ago. It also features the latest DelPro in parlour feeding system and all relevant software packages.”

Stephen Hamilton, from United Feeds, has worked closely with Andrew over the past number of years in developing nutritional programmes for the dairy herd. He was a recent visitor to the Evans’ farm.

He said: “Andrew’s herd fertility and milk solids were previously an issue for him. He knew that his herd had the genetic potential to do better and knowing the success United Feeds had with other herds he asked us for advice and solutions.

“We tailored rations to suit his silage that were specifically aimed at increasing milk solids and fertility without affecting yield. Andrew has been pleased with the overall herd performance since United Feeds got involved several years ago and this helped in the development of a good, long-term working relationship between the two businesses.”

Stephen added:“I am happy to confirm that there will be a tremendous selection of quality cows to choose from at the upcoming sale and I wish the Evans Family every success in the future.”

For further information on the forthcoming sale please contact Andrew Evans on 077594 18393.